People less positive about economy in 2012: RBC

Job concerns up slightly, almost one-third willing to relocate
||Last Updated: 02/09/2012

Canadians have lost confidence that the national economy or their personal financial situation will improve any time soon, according to the latest RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index.

Just under one-third (32 per cent) indicated they feel positive about the outlook for the domestic economy over the next year, down from 43 per cent in January 2011 and nearly one-half the number who said so in January 2010 (56 per cent).

Job concerns have risen slightly across the country since last year (21 per cent compared to 20 per cent) and almost one-third (30 per cent) of Canadians said they would move to another part of the country or a different city or region in order to keep their present job or advance, or to change careers or find new work.

One-half of the 4,479 respondents (490 in British Columbia, 498 in Alberta, 538 in Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 1,395 in Ontario, 921 in Quebec and 635 in Atlantic Canada) believe Alberta is creating the most jobs in Canada right now, followed by Ontario (22 per cent), Saskatchewan (nine per cent), B.C. (seven per cent) and Quebec (six per cent).

"We're becoming more concerned about employment prospects in Canada," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist at RBC. "The past two years have started out with strong employment numbers and then finished on a weak note. Unfortunately, we've now seen 2011's year-end weakness spill over into the beginning of this year. This, combined with the current unsettled environment due to ongoing concerns about the U.S. and European economies, leaves us cautious about the outlook for 2012."

Almost one-fifth (18 per cent) of Canadians said they are working in a job or field that does not fit their skills, training or education and 22 per cent reported someone in their household is going to upgrade their skills due to a change in their employment situation.

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